Mainframe Submission: File Location Change

This page provides information on the recent change of location for sending cost and retiree data files to the RDS Center Mainframe. Vendors submitting files using Connect:Direct should review this page for an overview of the change.

Note: All EDI-related questions and documentation must now be emailed to or submitted in a support request through the RDS Secure Website. Please update your records accordingly.


Effective December 19, 2016, all files that were previously sent to the RDS Center Mainframe must be sent to RDS' new mid-tier location.

Note: This change only impacts Vendors that submit data to CMS' RDS Center using Connect:Direct and does not affect participants that submit data using the RDS Secure Website or through their COB:VDSA or MIR contractor. CMS’ RDS Center has been working closely with affected Vendors to establish and test the new connection and ensure continued successful submission of files.

Impact to Mainframe Submitters

Vendors that submit data to the RDS Center Mainframe using Connect:Direct must ensure the following configuration changes have been made:

  • Incoming Connection: May need to add a firewall rule for incoming traffic
  • Outgoing Connection:
    • IP address
    • Port
    • NDM node name
    • May need to add a firewall rule

RDS' new environment is a Unix environment. Since Unix cannot accept GDGs, if a Vendor previously included a (+1) GDG at the end of file names when sending files to RDS, it must now replace the (+1) GDG with a timestamp in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format.

File Name Format When Vendors Send Files to RDS

Please note, when a Vendor sends files to RDS, the file name must be unique. For example, Vendors may include a timestamp to make the file name unique. Refer to the following formats:


Note: There is no change to the file formats.

Transition Timeframe

CMS' RDS Center has been in close communication with affected Vendors throughout the transition to complete the following activities:

  • September 2016: Vendors began receiving new network information from CMS’ RDS Center.
  • September/October 2016: Vendors began sending test files to the new location.
  • December 19, 2016: Cutover to new configuration complete. Vendors must send files to the new location.

July Webinar Recap

On July 13, 2016 CMS’ RDS Center hosted a webinar about the change for affected Vendors and their associated Plan Sponsor Account Managers and Authorized Representatives. Review a recap of the event to learn what CMS’ RDS Center discussed about the following topics: